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Rx costs worry young adults more

October 12, 2008|Susan Brink; Colin Ryan; Lance Pugmire

BOOSTER SHOTS

Everybody is worried about the rising cost of prescription drugs, but conventional wisdom suggests older people worry more.

Not so, says a new survey by Medco, a pharmacy benefit manager.

According to the new national survey "Feeling the Health Care Pinch," nearly 70% of people ages 25 to 34 say the economic downturn of the last 12 months has made it somewhat or significantly more difficult to pay for healthcare. Among people older than 55, less than half said that.

A couple of things might be going on.

First, problems like diabetes and heart disease are hitting younger people these days -- phenomena related to the growing rates of overweight and obesity -- so more of them are taking prescription drugs than in the past.

And young people may still be paying off college loans while setting up independent lives paying rent, mortgages can car loans.

Meanwhile, older prescription drug users are more savvy about asking their physicians for cheaper, generic versions of drugs, and to use mail-order pharmacies to save money, according to the survey.

-- Susan Brink

From Booster Shots: Oddities, musings and some news from the world of health

For more, go to latimes.com/boostershots

UP TO SPEED

Rainwater purifier on wheels

The aquatic-looking Mazda Kiyora concept car has a feature that could prove useful in the "Blade Runner"-type world that some foresee: It can recycle rainwater and make it fit for human consumption.

The car's roof has water channels that collect rain and send it through an activated carbon filter. This removes all waterborne pathogens and other pollutants down to the molecular level. Bacteria and viruses are intercepted without the use of chemicals. Then the cleansed water pours into a vessel specially designed for Mazda by Lifesaver Systems, which calls it the Bottle Citi. This receptacle is positioned between the front seats, so any occupant can get to it easily.

With some people predicting that wars of the future will be fought over precious liquids in dwindling supply, Mazda might be on to something here.

-- Colin Ryan

From Up to Speed: The latest auto news, tips and trends

For more, go to latimes.com/uptospeed

THE FABULOUS FORUM

Match made in ... well, not heaven

My friend Dan Rafael at ESPN.com got the scoop that former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has agreed to fight world heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev on Dec. 20 in Europe.

Holyfield will turn 46 before the fight and is attempting to become the oldest heavyweight champ in history.

But why?

Holyfield was once boxing's king of the hill, having beaten the likes of Mike Tyson (twice) and Riddick Bowe. A replay of an old Bowe bout was on an ESPN channel recently. It was a heroic, heartwarming moment: the swollen-faced warrior hugging his children in the ring after being handed a majority decision.

Now, we'll watch a real freak show: the aging and beaten-down Holyfield taking on boxing's carnival act, the 7-foot-tall, 320-pound Valuev. I spoke to Holyfield before he fought (and lost) a world title to Sultan Ibragimov last year. His speech was slightly slurred, but he insisted he'd passed every medical clearance required to enter the ring.

I'm no doctor, but relying only on common sense, here's hoping this bout doesn't happen. There's a lot of life left post-46.

-- Lance Pugmire

From The Fabulous Forum: The who, what, when, where, why and why not of L.A. sports

For more, go to latimes.com/fabulousforum

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